23

Cool Canines

The summer heat can be uncomfortable, to keep you dog safe and cool try some of these suggestion

First you really need to understand how dogs lose heat, without this your best intentions could lead to zero cooling.

We sweat to regulate our temperature and prevent heat stroke , Dogs do sweat but not to cool themselves down . Dogs sweat in areas not  covered in fur such as their ears, nose and pads of their paws. They do lose heat through their feet but not a significant amount.  Moisture on the nose helps dissolves smells and scents whilst the sweat on the ears leaves scent of themselves

So how do dogs cool down?

They use their surroundings. Sometimes the bathroom tiles, sometimes a freshly dug hole with cool soil, sometimes in the cool ground under a shady tree. Dogs transfer their internal heat to these cooler surfaces so drawing the heat from them into or onto the surfaces. Pretty cool.

But this is not their main method of cooling off… panting is!

IMG_7054

Ace, returning from her swim

Panting especially with your tongue hanging out so increasing the surface area that heat can be lost via.

Panting helps by using the heat within their body to evaporate the moisture on their tongue and within their mouth cavity. Clever!

This is similar to our sweating but from their mouths . as you can imagine our bodies have a much larger area to loose heat from hence the importance of keeping our dogs cool.

This method of loosing heat via panting can only occur if the air around the dog is cooler than the mouth and ideally moving.

Now it becomes very clear that leaving a dog in an enclosed space , which can become hotter than the dog and has no ventilation is a very bad ides since the dog will have no way of cooling only of becoming hotter… heading towards heat stroke. The obvious example of this is a car, back of ute on a humid day, inside with no ventilation.

Be aware of humidity

If the animal is panting, trying to lose heat via evaporation on a humid day, this is like trying to dry washing on a humid day it doesn’t work . Their is too much water vapour in the air, so humid days are danger days for our dogs. Please check the humidity

Can I use a fan to cool my dog?

Simple answer, No . Cooling the air around your dog will help a little but really we need a cool floor and a air conditioning.

So what can I do to help my dog stay cool?

Limit exercise on a hot day either get up earlier or limit exercise to two short trips out in the morning and the evening .If you are in doubt, place your hand on the pavement and if you cannot hold it their for 5 minutes don’t take your dog out.

IMG_4029

Let’s Go Fido Social Walk at Jubilee Park a great place to run or swim

IMG_6866

Max, taking his first drip

Water water everywhere.

Head to the water,  most dogs love to wade , some naturally just launch themselves .

Swimming is great exercise for all.

 

 

 

 

Bring the water to you. Buy a paddling pool for your dog, you can even make a party of it.

Provide ice  cubes or blocks for your dog

Always provide lots of fresh cool water .

Have multiple water bowls or even better leave the tap dripping do there is a constant supply of cool water in their bowl.

Ted, keeping cool with icecubes

Ted, keeping cool with icecubes

max on cooling mat

Max on his cooling mat

Bonnie in her wading pool

Bonnie in her wading pool

Shade

Provide shade  plants some trees but in the meantime through up a tart nice and high so we still get the ventilation

IMG_7094

Rosie , cooling amongst the shrubs

What happens if your dog gets too hot?

 

Signs of heat stroke

Heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, deep red or purple tongue, seizures, unconsciousness

How do I treat my pet for heat stroke?

Head to the vets if you’re worried!

Get your dog into the shade, run water over their fur (not freezing cold water) push the water through their fur don’t let the water saturate their fur . In simple terms keep the water moving and so  taking the heat away .

Apply a damp towel on your dog but not a sodden towel( the heat has to cause the water to evaporate to cool the dog. if their is to much water this cannot occur). Placing them in  a freezing cold bath is not recommended . Get to the Vets

You can offer then small amount of water too drink (again not ice cold water ).

Now no discussion on  protection from the sun would be complete without protecting yourself too so Slip, Slap, Slop for you and Slip and Slap for your dog. Yes that’s right hats, sunnies and sunscreen for our fair friends and thin coated dogs .

rosie poster

 

 

Please for more information of Canine Guardianship and responsible dog ownership contact

Louise@letsgofido.com or check out our website Let’s Go Fido!